Deacon Joe, age 72, of Wilmington, passed from this life into the arms of his Lord and Savior on Saturday, February 3, 2018 at Compassionate Care Hospice in St. Francis Hospital.
Joe was born in 1945 in Mineola, New York, son of the late Joseph and Betty Romans. He graduated from Great Neck North Senior High and served his country in the U.S. Air Force. He was stationed at Dover Air Force Base and Clark Air Force Base in the Philippines. While at the Dover Base, he met his future wife, Gerry and they married in 1965. Joe worked for the Xerox Corporation for 35 years until his retirement in 2003.
He was ordained a permanent deacon in the Catholic Church in 1987. He began his ministry at Our Lady of Fatima Church in New Castle from 1987 to 2003, and then assigned to St. Mary Magdalen Church in Wilmington from 2003 to 2018. Joe also served as a chaplain at Christiana Hospital from 1987 to 2016 and Missions Director for the Diocese of Wilmington from 2003 to 2017.
Joe loved his God, his Church, his country and his family. He was also a passionate fan of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Philadelphia Phillies.
Joe is survived by his beloved wife of 52 years, Gerry, his children; Joseph of Wilmington, Joyce Coughlin and her husband Brendan of Wilmington, and Jonathan of Richmond, VA., three beautiful grandchildren; Meghan, Sean and Sarah Coughlin, who were the special lights in his life. He is also survived by his sister, Elizabeth Vonderlieth (Raymond) of Florida, his brother Ronald of California and his brother Gary and his sister-in-law Peggy of New Jersey.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, February 10, 2018, 10:00 AM, at St. Mary Magdalen Catholic Church, 7 Sharpley Road, Wilmington, DE 19803. A viewing will be held Friday evening from 6:00 to 8:00 PM at St. Mary Magdalen Church. Interment will follow the Mass at All Saints Cemetery, Wilmington, DE.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Delaware Right of Life, P.O. Box 1222, Wilmington, DE 19899 or St. Mary Magdalen, St. Vincent DePaul Society, 7 Sharpley Road, Wilmington, DE 19803.